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YouTube Made a Tool That Lets You Create GIFs Out of Videos

Alyssa Bereznak
National Correspondent, Technology
Yahoo Tech

YouTube is a source of endlessly GIF-able entertainment. And while countless developers have created tools to do so as swiftly as possible, YouTube’s new built-in GIF creation tool, spotted by Gizmodo on Thursday night, could really open up GIF making to the masses.

The tool appears to be in an experimental phase, appearing only under videos included in the PBS Idea Channel (Read: not the Air Bud trailer that I wanted to GIF, ugh). 

Still, I tried the thing out and it’s pretty painless to use. Hopefully it starts spreading to more and more videos (namely ones involving Air Bud.) 

Here’s how it works:

1. Beneath whatever video you’re watching, click the Share button.

YouTube Share button

2. You’ll notice that alongside the typical sharing tools you’re usually provided, there’s a new one called GIF.

YouTube GIF button

3. Click it, and you’ll see an editing tool that allows you to choose which part of the video you want to memorialize in an animated image. 

YouTube Create GIF button

4. Drag the blue frame across the timeline of the video to select the appropriate clip. It seems that, at the moment, you can select only six seconds’ worth of footage. Hopefully that will change if/when this is premiered across all of YouTube.

Creating a GIF in YouTube

5. You also have the ability to overlay text on the top and bottom of a video by simply typing whatever you want into the designated boxes.

Addign text to a GIF in YouTube

6. All the while, the thumbnail on the bottom left will show you a preview of your GIF. 

Creating a GIF in YouTube

7. When your masterpiece is done, just click Create GIF. The tool will give you both a direct link to the clip and an embed code. You also have the option to directly share it on various social networks.

Sharing a YouTube GIF

That’s all you have to do! No opening extraneous programs or waiting forever for a large file to process.

Please, YouTube, make this a sitewide thing by New Year’s Eve? This would be SO helpful for Taylor Swift’s Times Square performance.

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